Posted: Aug 29, 2019
Saturday morning August 24th started early for 96 Cambridge Bears as they met at the school to head for the first meet of the season at 5am. The Bob Blastow Early Bird has been the start of the CXC season for the last few years, and once again the teams had a great start to the season, despite the course being 60-70 meters longer than previous years.
The first race of the day started in fog, and watching the start, you had to wait to see the runners emerge from the fog as they started their way around the flat, fast grass course. Deacon Law ('20) took an early lead individually and set a great pace for the mile and a half. Not far behind, and passing him by mile 2 were his brother, Anders Law ('20), and sophomore Lyle Donovan. It wasn't until the end of the race that Lyle passed Anders to finish in 8th with a personal best time of 16:16.20, and Anders' time was 16:17.7, a personal best by 12 seconds, for 9th. Deacon finished just out of the medals in 16th, but bested his personal record set two years ago by 32 seconds. Cole Suplee ('21) was not too far behind in 21st and his time of 16:53 was a minute and nine seconds faster than his previous best 5k. A trio of Kaine Dudley ('21), Will Carrow ('20), and Adam Schaich('20) traded off as the fifth and final scoring runner for much of the race, until Kaine broke away in the final 800m. Kaine was 45th, Will 49th and Adam 54th and all ran personal best times. Yahya Merchant was the final varsity runner on Saturday, and finished just shy of a personal record in a time of 17:52. Taking the top five runners' places for the team score, the Bears finished in second place overall in the varsity boys race with a score of 95 points.
By the time the girls' varsity race started, the fog had burned off and the heat of the sun had an impact on all the remaining races. Senior Ashley Sechrest led the girls' team with a time of 18:36, faster than last year despite the longer course, and finished second individually, not able to keep up the last 800m of the race with the eventual winner. Freshman Anna Filipek, also having finished 2nd in the time trial last week, had an impressive time of 19:09 in her first meet as a Lady Bear, and earned the 6th place medal, as well as the freshmen XC record for CHS. Her sister, Isabel Filipek ('21), had maintained 3rd within the team for much of the race, but fellow junior Lola Merrill, who had been injured much of last fall, passed her in the end to finish in 30th with a time of 20:42. Izzy's time of 20:47 was 31st, and the final scoring runner was sophomore Katie Malone who finished in 38th place in a time of 21:03. Kat Suplee ('21) was just four second behind in 39th place, and Afton Hirschi ('20) and Emily Meeker ('22) rounded out the varsity roster and finished in 21:20 and 22:00 for 42nd and 66th place. The team score of 104 points was just one point behind second place team Starrs Mill, and the girls' brought home 3rd place honors.
The blaring sun continued to raise temps as the third race of the morning started, the JV Boys' race. This race had ten athletes per school. though still just the first five were part of the team score. Boston Grant led from early on, and finished in 17:54 for fourth place. Juniors Colby and Caelan Jones then finished in 7th and 8th with times of 18:12 and 18:13, followed by Alex Tebeau ('22) and Ethan Blalock ('20) in 16th and 18th with times of 18:25 and 18:32 to finish out the scoring and earn the first place team trophy. Colin Shin ('20), though not scoring, also finished in the top 20 with a 19th place time of 18:35. Finishing out the JV roster were Oscar Ng, new to CXC this year having moved to the area last year, Justin Doering ('21), Xander Bouton ('22), and Cooper Carrow ('20).
For the girls' JV race, senior Sarah Anderson led the runners, earning a medal for her 11th place finish in 23:03, a six second improvement on her PR. Liv Bollenbacher ('22), having run the 400m in track in the spring, bested fellow sophomore Faith Hirschi in the final 50m of the 5K for 16th place in a time of 23:17. Faith Hirschi was up in front for the first mile, but fell back to 17th, with freshman Allyx Berry 1 second behind her in 18th with a time of 23:28. Madeline Matthews ('22) finished in 21st place in a time of 23:47, 1:20 faster than her best time last season, and senior Lily Parzych earned 24th besting her previous personal best by nearly one and a half minutes in 23:50. Finishing out the JV girls' roster were Kyra Gould ('22), Larkin Wynn('23), Disha Baglodi('22) and Olivia Sanford('20). They crossed the line in 30th, 31st, 34th and 35th places, with Disha and Olivia both finishing in personal best times for a 5K.
The final race of the day was a mixed open race, meaning both the boys and girls ran in the same race, though placement and team scores were still calculated separately. The boys' dominated their race, earning 10 of the top 15 medals. Braden Hobbs ('22) took first place overall in 19:44 with an almost 30 second personal best, followed by Matthew DiPietro ('21) in 2nd. George Tindle ('22) finished in fifth, and was followed by Ashton Foraker ('22), Ethan Danciak ('20), Jack Ritter('20) and Ajai Singh('22) for 7th through 10th place. Sophomore Reese Uribe, and freshmen Luis Fettes and Dillon Shin finished out the top 15 in 11th, 12th and 15th. The boys won first place as a team with a super low score of just 23 points. In the girls' open race, five girls earned top 15 finisher medals. Kendall Clemmer ('22) passed Annika Phelps('20) in the last 20 meters to finished in 6th with a time of 25:28, a personal best by just over a minute. Annika, still getting back to peak form after a summer injury, was one second behind in 25:29. Senior Audrey Duke finished in 25:45 for 8th and a 45 second personal best; Irene Palacios-Rodriguez ('23) was the tenth to cross the line for the girls's race, followed by Summer Merrill ('23) in 12th. The girls finished in 2nd place overall.
As the first race of the season, Bob Blastow sets a high bar for the rest of the season as the athletes continue to train hard and beat their own personal best times. The next meet will be in Carrollton, on September 7. It is a practice run for the state championship meet, as this is the same course layout that is used annually in November. We look forward to seeing the Bears continue their successes at the Carrollton Orthopedic Invitational, followed by Warpath and Wingfoot in the month of September.